Who? Nigeria - Argentina
Where? Krestovsky Stadium, St. Petersburg
When? June 26, 20:00 (CET local time)
African football has started to rise in the recent days of the World Cup. Between Senegal's two matches, Nigeria defeated Iceland and gave a chance of qualification for the Super Eagles. If you consider the other results in this group, Nigeria maybe can feel that defeating Argentina would not be a surprise.
Since their game in Friday, everyone talks about Ahmed Musa. His numbers became historical: he became Nigeria's all-time World Cup top scorer and the first Nigerian to score in two different World Cups with four goals. In his career he scored 15 international goals and now he is ranked 6th, above some Nigerian legends such as Julius Aghahowa and Jay-Jay Okocha.
Nigeria will face Argentina in a point that they couldn't ask for better. A team that was among the favorites to win and looks like a wounded animal. Nigeria will try to use in order to have an advantage over their opponents, all the way to the round of 16. Yet, Nigeria need to face its past as they lost all their matches against Argentina in the World Cup.
With high dreams and expectations, while all Africa is watching them, Nigeria is the hope to make something different. If they will win and Argentina will be eliminated, it can be a beginning of an interesting chapter in the African football history.
Chaos. There is only one word that can describe the situation of the Argentine national team. Nobody thought that Argentina will be with only one point after the first two games, knowing that they are closer more than ever to being eliminated at the end of the group stage.
The poor performance against Croatia made many to think that maybe Argentina is not as strong as many thought. The feeling is that Argentina can't really perform well in this World Cup and they know who is the responsible: the coach, Jorge Sampaoli.
The reports from the Argentine camp are talking about some kind of revolt against Sampaoli. According to the local media, the players demands that Sampaoli will resign. Some reports even said that the players recommended Jorge Burruchaga, the national team general manager, as their coach for the match against Nigeria.
In these cases, you can always hope that one will give its best show, AFA chairman, Chiqui Tapia. Since the match against Croatia, Tapia slams constantly the media. He says that they are publishing lies and accused them in lack of patriotism.
Since Thursday night, a lot of things changed. Argentina, that felt they have no chance to qualify, saw how Iceland fail to defeat Nigeria and gave them some hope. The fans can barely believe that La Albiceleste can do something in this World Cup now, but what is football unless than believe making the impossible to possible?